Formidable Djokovic to face Nadal in Miami

Last Updated: Saturday, April 2, 2011 - 09:23

Miami: Novak Djokovic, unbeaten this year, and world number one Rafa Nadal will meet in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open on Sunday in a mouthwatering re-match of their gripping encounter in Indian Wells two weeks ago.

Djokovic, who won that encounter in three sets, showed his killer instinct again in his semi-final on Friday defeating American Mardy Fish in straight sets.
Nadal had a tougher test -- on paper at least -- against world number three and old rival Roger Federer but bounced through that match in one hour 15 minutes to win 6-3, 6-2 against a below-par world number three.

Djokovic, a 6-3, 6-1 winner at Key Biscayne, extended his winning run to 25 and ensures Sunday`s final of the Masters 1000 event will include two of the world`s top three players for the first time.

Nadal, searching for his first win in Miami, was dominant in all areas against Federer and his serve, particularly in the first set was devastating.

The Spaniard took full advantage of Federer`s unusually high number of unforced errors and never looked in danger of losing his grip on the match after breaking in the second game of the second set.

Djokovic, whose win streak dates back to last year, again illustrated his ability to rise to the moment as he responded to the challenge every time Fish found a glimmer of hope, ending the match in one hour 26 minutes.

"I don`t feel invincible. I don`t feel that I can`t lose on the court but what I feel is big confidence," said Djokovic.

"What I feel is that I`m playing best tennis of my life. It is as simple as that."

Play was delayed by rain with the score at 2-2 in the first set with the Serb looking a little slow off the mark but when play resumed he came out and broke at the first opportunity.

Fish was in with a chance at 5-3 down in the first set but missed two break points when he rushed to the net and volleyed wide left on one opportunity and found the net on another.

That marked the turning point in the match, as illustrated by Fish`s pained facial expression, and Djokovic went on to make short work of the second set.

"He`s not losing games. He`s crushing us," a despondent Fish told reporters. "He`s so confident and he doesn`t give you much out there at all. When he does, he seems to erase it pretty well."

Djokovic, who won the Australian Open this year and at Dubai and Indian Wells, acknowledged he was able to find another gear when faced with a potential break.
"It is (about) focus and just trying to get it right. You obviously feel pressure and tension in these moments when you`re break point down, especially at this level where you know if you lose your serve it`s going to be very hard to get it back," Djokovic said.

"I tried to kind of play simple that stage."

Bureau Report



First Published: Saturday, April 2, 2011 - 09:23

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